News Column

Justice system deals without computer software

August 29, 2014

By Jon Vanderlaan, Odessa American, Texas

Aug. 29--It's been years since Ector County has managed its justice system without computers, but everyone from district attorneys to jailers have to write things by hand while the county's criminal software is broken.

AbleTerm, the criminal software containing all information about people going through the justice system including jail information, court date information, and personal information, has not worked since Sunday.

Officials have scrambled since that time to find a solution, but it appears the county will go into the holiday weekend without the system.

Ernest Pages, the Information Technology (IT) consultant brought in to help the county in a five-year IT plan, said they have been working on a fix for the broken server that caused the AbleTerm outage, and should have something ready by tonight. So far, the IT staff has had to rebuild the original server and has ordered a new server for $10,000 to act as a failsafe in the event the other one crashes again. For perspective, Pages said the server they ordered would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the 1980s.

The total project could cost $70,000, which Precinct 3 Commissioner Dale Childers said might fall on the county. However, he said officials are working with Tyler Technologies to determine who will pay for what.

Want to read more of this story? Visit for more premium content.

€‹Contact Jon Vanderlaan on twitter at @OAcourts, on Facebook at OA Jon Vanderlaan or call 432-333-7763.


(c)2014 the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas)

Visit the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas) at

Distributed by MCT Information Services

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Odessa American (TX)

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters